I had just attended the most awe inspiring ceremony ever. Father Gordon blessed clay sculptures we created, crafted from the very essence of our personalities, and mine was laid bare on the altar for everyone to see: a man crouched, sitting with his arms folded over his knees, characteristically introverted and blocking every attempt to enter. I sat staring at him, hating the truth he so blatantly displayed, but helpless to blanket his deafening screams for help. Everything in that moment echoed one message: someone had to know.
My brow was drenched and my palms were sweating. There was a gigantic lump in my throat that refused to dissipate. My tongue was twisted and my brain was a jumble. The words, however, were dancing on the tip on my tongue. I wanted to blurt the words out (for ten grueling years I’ve wanted to utter those liberating words), but fear and prejudice wouldn’t let me. This was a secret even my subconscious wasn’t supposed to know about, but ten years was torture enough. I couldn’t lie to myself any longer; else I would be lying to a stranger. I sat my best friend next to me and he immediately understood that something was troubling me greatly. He kept asking what the problem was, but I felt so vulnerable and insignificant that I almost ran away. I had already taken the first steps, though, and turning back was not an option. He started guessing at what my dilemma was and in my mind I was screaming, “You’re wrong! They’re all wrong!” Ten years of insecurity and solitude proved the better at that moment. “You have to tell me. You know it won’t change anything between us. Just tell me.” With nothing else to hold on to, I desperately clung to the promise of those words. In one blinding moment I confessed the one thing I’ve been futilely trying to hide for my entire life. “What if I told you that…I was gay?”
In one overwhelming rush of relief every burden that I had been carrying fell like shackles at my feet. My eyes welled with water that burst from the dam behind my eyes. All he said was, “It doesn’t matter”.
I’ve never heard sweeter words, and since then I’ve never turned back.